Posts tagged chickpeas

Tackling hummus: a store-bought staple

Hummus is one of those foods I repeatedly buy from the grocery store because it seems like a pre-packaged item I wouldn’t even consider trying to make.  One of the great things about writing this blog is that I’ve been attempting recipes that I would otherwise write off as scary and complicated; and news flash, the recipe (from SimplyRecipes.com) for hummus is the exact opposite.  It’s actually really simple and pretty quick.  On the down side, you’ll probably have to go out and purchase more of the ingredients (find me a college student who regularly stocks their shelves with tahini).  But it’s a great (very healthy) snack so if you ask me, the positives outweigh the negs.  I’m pretty sure this is a first on this blog, but I’m actually admitting defeat here.  The recipe came out okay.  The texture works, and I used all the right ingredients, but something about the taste was a little bit off and I’m not sure why.  If any readers out there are experienced in making hummus, please take a look at my recipe and directions and let me know what you think.  Possible problems I’m considering are not stirring the tahini enough before using it, or too much garlic.  It came out decent, but it could definitely use improvement, but that’s what cooking is all about: experimenting with new things and figuring out where things went wrong so the next time I make it, it’ll be 10 times better. 🙂

With hopes that I didn’t scare you out of giving this recipe a try, you’ll need:

  • 4 cloves of garlic, mashed then cut into tiny pieces
  • 30 oz garbanzo beans(chickpeas)
  • 2/3 cup tahini (sesame paste), you can usually find it wherever the peanut butter is or in a Middle Eastern food store. You can also make it if you’re feeling daring.
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of black pepper (optional)
  • Dash of crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Blender/food processor

Directions:

  1. Mash the garlic cloves and cut them up into tiny pieces.
  2. Cut and squeeze the lemons into a measuring cup until you get 1/3 cup of juice.  This is probably the most time-consuming step.
  3. Combine the garlic, beans, tahini, water, olive oil and lemon juice in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.  This part sounds pretty easy, but it actually took me awhile to blend the chickpeas and then everything else together, plus it’s a pain to clean the blender afterward.  If you have a food processor, I would suggest using it; however, in my humble kitchen I was stuck with a blender and it got a little tricky.
  4. Transfer the processed mixture into a medium-sized bowl and give it a stir.  Then add the salt, and dash of black pepper ad crushed red pepper if you’d like it on the spicy side.  If you have any parsley around, garnish the humus with a sprinkle or two.
  5. Serve with pita chips (I recommend Stacy’s simply naked– Grand Union only had multigrain and parmesan garlic & herb), pita bread, pretzels, or toasted chunks of french bread

Like I said above, please please please don’t hesitate to let me know what you would have done differently.  I’d love to get your thoughts and give my hummus recipe a second try!

Here’s a visual guide:

Mash the garlic then squeeze the fresh lemon juice before adding the other ingredients:

Process everything together until smooth:

Transfer the mixture into a bowl and add the salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper:

Serve with your item of choice (mine being pita chips):

Here are some other hummus recipe to try your hand at:

Another easy recipe from About.com’s Middle Eastern food section.  This site also has links to videos about making hummus and making pita bread!

Ina Garten of the Food Network shares her hummus recipe

A hummus recipe from Epicurious.com, featuring additional recipes with chickpeas

Here’s a good video from Good Housekeeping about making hummus:

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